NPR’s Tech Talent Story Does Not Compute

Echoing a year-old story line, National Public Radio (NPR) announced over the weekend that Canada is “winning the war for global tech talent,” and that U.S. immigration policy is to blame.

According to NPR, Canada’s streamlined visa program attracted some 40,000 technology workers in each of the past two years. While that’s impressive for Canada, the numbers pale by American standards. At any given moment, there are 650,000 H-1B (skilled) visa workers here, with tens of thousands more in related programs like Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Still, corporate lobbyists and immigration enthusiasts have a receptive audience in media outlets eager to undermine President Donald Trump and credulously promote ever-rising global migration.

“The problem with mainstream journalists is they push the narrative that American college grads are too dumb, and we need foreign students to pick up the slack or else the U.S. will lose its ‘competitive edge,’” observes U.S. Techworkers, which advocates for American tech jobs and H-1B visa reforms. “What NPR won’t tell you is that foreign nationals who go to Canada do so to get quick immigration benefits so they can get into the United States through TN visas.”

NPR didn’t mention any of them, but there have been numerous cases involving abuse of H-1B visas to disadvantage U.S. workers. To name just a few:

  • Over the Christmas holiday, AT&T fired American employees and filled their positions with foreign replacements.
  • Tech giant Oracle was charged with underpaying minority workers and favoring those holding student visas. More recently, a Chinese woman was convicted of running a fraudulent OPT program to keep foreign nationals in the U.S.
  • Infosys, one of the biggest Indian outsourcing companies (aka body shops), paid a paltry $800,000 fine after 500 American graduates were cheated out of jobs.

American workers have testified how the tech industry’s cheap-labor racket gave them the boot while lower-paid, and sometimes lower-skilled, foreign workers replaced them. But NPR did not give these accounts any airtime, and never challenged the industry mantra that imported tech workers are essential to America’s “competitiveness.” Nor did it mention a report that the tech sector shed 64,166 U.S. jobs in 2019.

In fact, more than 4 million young Americans — trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields – seek employment each year. Whatever Canada’s needs might be, and whatever the tech industry may claim, this nation’s immigration policy must keep American workers as its first priority.

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